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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mental decline from diabetes can start in middle age

Type 2 diabetes is fat person diabetes.
Diabetes can lead to a decline in memory, thinking speed, and mental flexibility in middle age, but controlling the blood sugar disorder might prevent some of these effects, new research from the Netherlands suggests.

While the mental decline may be invisible to the individual, the fact that the drop-off starts accumulating in middle age puts diabetics at greater risk later on because of reduced "brain reserves," Dr. David Knopman, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Reuters Health.

"Like a bicycle tire that's been partially deflated -- you'll be OK riding around but if you develop another little leak you'll be much closer to a flat tire much faster," said Knopman, who was not involved in the Dutch study.

Astrid Nooyens and colleagues at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands examined the health records and mental acuity scores of more than 2,600 men and women between the ages of 45 and 70 who enrolled in a large ongoing study into lifestyle effects on health.

At the five-year mark, of the 139 participants with type 2 diabetes, 61 were diabetics at the beginning of the study and 78 developed the chronic disease within the next five years.

The study confirmed the findings of earlier research, by Knopman and others, of an association between diabetes and declines in such mental functions as the ability to think quickly and recall words, but this is the first project to test memory and demonstrate how quickly the drop-off can occur.
However, the mental drop-off likely started earlier, which explains why they got fat in the first place.

2 comments:

hernande said...
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Michael Applebaum, MD, JD, FCLM said...

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